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Number of Butterflies in UK at Historic Low: Conservationists

Jul 19, 2013 15:53 IST

The conservationists at the Charity Butterfly Conservation of UK declared that the number of butterflies in UK was at a record and historic low. The Charity Butterfly Conservation issued the warning before the annual survey called the Big Butterfly Count.

The experts explained that the critical weather conditions such as 2012’s wet summer as well as 2013 cold spring were the reasons behind worsening population of the butterflies in UK. However, it was explained that hot start of July 2013 could help in reviving the population of these insects.

It is important to note that butterflies are extremely crucial for the environment because they act as the barometer of health to the environment. The declining population of butterflies in UK explains that there was something wrong in the environment of UK.

About the Big Butterfly Count survey

• The Big Butterfly Count survey is an annual survey conducted by the Charity Butterfly Conservation.
• It is a citizen scientist survey where general public are invited for recording the number of butterflies flying in the local green areas.
• People are provided with the chart of 19 most commonly found butterflies as well as 2 day-flying moths. They are asked to record how many insects of each kind were spotted in just 15 minutes time.
• The Big Butterfly Count takes place from 20 July to 11 August every year.

In the year 2012, over 220000 butterflies were counted. During that interview, it was observed that 15 out of 21 species declined in comparison to 2011 survey. The 2012 was said to be the worst year on record for UK butterflies due to wet as well as windy weather that caused disruption to their breeding. Due to this, thousands of delicate insects succumbed to various elements before reproduction. In many causes, their eggs were completely washed away.

In 2013 cold spring, the butterflies started emerging three weeks late. However, the heatwave in the month of July 2013 could help in enhancing the number of butterflies. It was explained by the survey manager that summer heatwave of 2013 was perfect tonic for struggling population of butterflies in Britain.

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